10 Reasons to Reconsider the Above-Ground Pool

Above-ground pools have never been known for high style. Still, they remain a popular and budget-friendly option for those unable—or unwilling—to shell out a fortune for a cool-off spot. These days, however, with pool manufacturers and installers offering new shapes and surround designs, above-ground pools deserve another look. With thoughtful planning and a dose of inspiration, an above-ground pool can be every bit as lovely to the eye and welcoming to swimmers as the in-ground variety. Don't believe it? Click to see proof.

Sleek Chic

Pool in a Deck

On a sloped property, it's possible to position an above-ground pool so that it looks like an in-ground one. A modern wood deck and high-end furniture add to the classy illusion.


Deluxe Hangout

Cool Above Ground Pool

An above-ground pool with a stained or painted wood surround looks appealing from all angles. Shown here, a pool house drives home the feeling of luxurious comfort.


Organic Elegance

Stone Veneer Pool

Natural materials thoughtfully positioned on a sloped site make this above-ground pool appear right at home in the yard. The lesson? To seamlessly blend your pool into the environment, opt for a surround made of local stone or wood.

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Lap of Luxury

Lap Pool

A lap pool is an excellent tool for staying fit, but as this design demonstrates, it can also be a stunning water feature. This custom job is made from concrete but incorporates a hardwood deck, which adds such warmth richness to the overall installation.


Window Box

See-through Pool

Pools with glass inserts are perfect for small courtyards. And though they must be custom-made (and cost a small fortune), there's no denying their jaw-dropping visual impact.


The Right Finishing Touches

Above Ground Pool with Wood Surround

Just as the right accessories can make an outfit, the right outdoor furniture and hardscaping can upgrade the look of an above-ground pool. Here, the pool's wooden surround is visually of a piece with the ladder and patio chairs. And to ease the transition from the grassy yard, the edges of the simple wood deck are fringed by low plants.


A Step Up

Freeform Shape Pool

Its freeform shape and custom bluestone steps transform this above-ground pool into something quite extraordinary. The steps do triple duty: While covering the surround, they allow entry from any point along the perimeter and provide generous space for bathers to sit near the water.


Decked Out

Pool with Deck

Multi-level wooden decks smooth the transition between the yard and pool in this smartly devised layout. An above-ground spa is a welcome extra, and containers of flowering plants deliver a nice decorative touch.

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On the Fence

Pool with Palm Trees

Thoughtfully installed decking around the back half of this pool allows it to function like an in-ground design. The focal point of the landscaping is a dramatic rock retaining wall planted with palms, and a wood-plank surround that matches the deck yields a cohesive look.


Poolside Seating

Endless Lap Pool

An above-ground "endless" lap pool, functioning like a treadmill but for swimming, enables the homeowners to get plenty of exercise, even in their relatively small yard. The pool's edge is lined with stained wooden boards for lounging after a workout, and checkerboard-pattern pavers add to the design's pleasing geometric style.


For More...

Cool Pool House

For more on swimming pools, check out:

Natural Swimming Pools: 10 Green and Gorgeous Designs

Swimming with the Stars: 12 Celebrities' Cool Pools

9 Incredibly Cool Pool Houses


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